After a day’s worth of incoming negative attention, the White House moved the flag back to half-staff and released an official statement on McCain’s death. Here’s how it started:
“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.”
That the President of the United States — a man who famously/infamously said McCain was only a war hero because he had been captured — had to be led, kicking and screaming, to do the most basic honoring of someone who spent a lifetime in service of the country is appalling. There’s simply no other word for it.
But Trump’s smallness highlights two important things to remember about him:
The Point: The death of a long-serving Republican senator and war hero should be an absolute slam dunk for a Republican president, politically speaking. Honor his service, mourn for his family and ask that people remember the sacrifice he made. Donald Trump did none of those things, turning what should be a celebration of a life well lived in service of the country into a grudging and belated acknowledgment of a man who gave so much.